Why Can't You Wear White After Labor Day? – JoJoSox
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Why Can't You Wear White After Labor Day?

woman wearing white in the desert

You've heard the phrase a million times in your fashion conversations and day to day life: you can't wear white after labor day. A rule it seems only Derek Zoolander would truly still follow today, this fashion rule has perplexed millions through the years as to why they can't wear one of their favorite shirts after the first Monday in September each year.

So if you have constantly pondered about why this fashion rule exists and how it came to be such a common saying, we have the final answer to the mystery which has bewildered us all for years.

History of White

Throughout history, many different colors have served different purposes and held several meanings for those wearing them depending on the specific place in time. For example, purple and red were once held as colors only worn by nobility in a day where only monarchs ruled the land. Yet today, many people still live under the tyrannical control of not wearing white after Labor Day.

This saying actually has quite a practical meaning when you take it back its origins of meaning during the 1800s and 1900s. Decades ago, when the majority of the population in the United States lived in the hot and humid areas of the east coast, sweat was everywhere you could see, making black a very unideal color of clothing to wear as it would attract the sun and turn you into a personal heater.

With this problem, it made white the easy go-to option. Unfortunately, dirtier cities of the 1900s equaled far more dirt and grime in the air. Not the optimal atmosphere for white. If you wanted to get to a comfortable place where you could wear white without ruining your best brights, you need to go somewhere outside the city. Give yourself a little vacation.

girl wearing white in the forest
With this connection, white in the summertime became synonymous with those getting ready to go out of town on vacation. Labor Day, however, meant the return of fall, and in turn, the return of people back from their vacations in the warmer months and back to the realities of everyday life. As they came home, their white's returned to the closets, only to be brought back out when Memorial Day rolled around the following year.

This trend took off even more in the 1950's as fashion magazines proclaimed the rule as a must-follow if you wanted to be truly accepted in the fashion world's eye. Fortunately for all of us, fashion trendsetters and forward thinkers such as the truly one of a kind Coco Chanel scoffed at this rule, opting to wear her favorite whites all year round.

Do you follow this rule of only wearing white from Memorial Day to Labor Day? Do you think it is absurd and outdated? Tell us in the comments!



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